The 2012 Taco Kuiper Award for Investigative Journalism was announced on Friday, 5th April 2013.
Winners - Msindisi Fengu and Yandisa Monakali
"Hostels of shame"
(Photo: TJ Lemon)
A story which exposed horrifying conditions in the Eastern Cape’s rural school hostels has won the 7th Taco Kuiper Award – and R200 000 in prize money – for outstanding investigative journalism by South African media.
At the awards ceremony on Friday, 5 April 2013 in Johannesburg, the convenor of the judging panel, Caxton Professor of Journalism and Media Studies at Wits University, Anton Harber, described the winning entry from Msindisi Fengu of the Daily Dispatch
“East London’s newspaper has identified a way of taking one small item – in this case a remark by an MEC that prisons were ‘far better’ than the Eastern Cape’s rural school hostels – and turning it into a major investigation. Msindisi set out to visit 70 school hostels. Forty of them turned out be ghost hostels, and did not even exist, and those he saw over two months allowed him to document horrifying conditions.
This was not a story that arrived in an envelope or was the result of a lucky leak. It required many weeks on the road, visiting each school across the length and breadth of the Eastern Cape to document the appalling conditions in which students had to live. Msindisi’s persistence, determination and rigour together led to a most important story, powerfully told. And powerfully illustrated by photographer Yandisa Monakali. As a result, at least one official was suspended and the provincial authorities were booted into action.”Click here to read Fengu and Monakali's winning story.
Runners-up: Stephan Hofstatter, Rob Rose and Mzilikazi wa Afrika
and Greg Marinovich
Rob Rose, Msindisi Fengu, Mzilikazi wa Afrika, Yandisa Monakali and Greg Marinovich celebrate.
(Photo: TJ Lemon)
This year’s entries were of such high quality that the judges decided to split the award for runner-up between Greg Marinovitch of Daily Maverick
for his Marikana expose and Stephan Hofstatter, Rob Rose and Mzilikazi wa Afrika of the Sunday Times
for their work on the Cato Manor Death Squad.
According to Harber: “It is not often that a photographer makes an investigative breakthrough but Marinovich’s determination and passion led him to find evidence that everyone else was missing, and pointing to an entirely new explanation of what happened on that fateful day that claimed the lives of 34 miners.”
Harber said the Sunday Times
team took last year’s story of a rogue police squad and mixed well-researched fresh evidence with effective storytelling. “This horrifying story is of particular importance because it provides the backdrop to the current concerns over police violence.”
He said the shortlist of entries proved South African investigative journalism was up there with the finest in the world. “This is particularly pertinent at a time when there are direct threats to our freedom to do this important work.”Click here to read Anton Harber's speech.
For more information contact Margaret Renn at 011 717 4043 or
Taco Kuiper was a highly successful South African publisher who left a significant part of his estate to the promotion of investigative journalism. He believed that exposing matters of public concern which those scrutinized would not want to see disclosed was an important enterprise. It was for this reason that Kuiper, shortly before his death in September 2004, set up a fund for investigative journalism within The Valley Trust. The Trust has partnered with the Wits Journalism Programme to administer the Taco Kuiper Award.
Troublemakers: The Best of South Africa’s Investigative Journalism
Edited by Anton Harber and Margaret Renn
The 2009 Taco Kuiper Awards saw an unprecedented number of high-quality entries all vying for the top spot at this prestigious investigative journalism award. Troublemakers is a collection of the best of these entries.
This is the book that will keep Schabir Shaik up at night. And Carl Niehaus. And Barry Tannenbaum. And all South Africa’s other crooks, scoundrels and scumbags. The powerful may lament it, but those excited by a new and lively democracy love it: South Africa is enjoying an unexpected revival of hard-hitting investigative journalism
Contents include articles from:
Daily Dispatch ♦ Sunday Times ♦ Politicsweb ♦ Mail & Guardian ♦ The Star ♦ City Press ♦ Sunday Tribune ♦ Weekend Argus ♦ FinMedia 24 ♦ Financial Mail
DVD contents include programmes from Special Assignment and 3rd Degree.
Read about the Troublemaker's book launch.
Read a review of the book.